It was a blustery night, and Mac found the wind rustling in the trees to be both a help and a hinderance. It muffled the sounds of his approach so that the guards would never hear him until he was right on top of them. By the same token, it also covered that sound of anyone approaching him.
Not that he was overly worried about being surprised. He’d already done a quick recon of the area. There were four guards outside the target structure, and three of them were punks. He’d have no trouble turning them into meat. The fourth one, though—he looked like a merc, a hired hardman. He’d be more of a challenge. On the other hand, he’d also be much more likely to know exactly how many men were inside the target.
It’d be worth keeping the fourth one alive a bit. Mac was sure he—and his expertly-wielded blade—would be able to make the fucker divulge his info on the target.
The structure wasn’t the actual target, of course. Little Bennie was. Bennie Scariolo, only twenty-eight, with seven known kills under his belt. Little punk was an iceman for the mob, but he was never gonna serve a single day for his crimes. He’d been arrested two months ago; the moment he was presented with irrefutable proof of his murders, he turned state’s evidence.
Mac had read the full dossier. This wasn’t the type of job he normally took on, but this one intrigued him. Bennie was planning on ratting out Paulo Gerocchi, his employer. But whoever had hired Mac—he never questioned the identities of his own employers—had inside info that Gerocchi had stage three pancreatic cancer. The mob boss had less than a year to live, and most of that time would be spent in excruciating pain.
It didn’t seem like much of a return for letting Little Bennie off scot-free.
Even more intriguing was the fact that Bennie had refused federal protection prior to the trial. He was evidently willing to enter witness protection once he’d given his testimony, but Mac’s omniscient employer had provided info that Bennie felt that the local agents assigned to protect him pre-trial had already been infiltrated. He’d hired his own guards.
Well, aside from the one hardman patrolling the perimeter of the blockhouse, Bennie hadn’t done a very good job. Of course, Mac didn’t know what was waiting for him inside. He’d question all four exterior guards before he killed them, of course, but he didn’t expect the three kids to tell him much. They wouldn’t know anything; they were just bullet-bait.
Mac grinned. It’d be a lot more merciful to just pop a cap in their brains and let them die like dogs, but they had no right to expect mercy in this line of work. Little bitches thought they could do the job of real men? Then they could die like real men—hard and painful.
The experience killer slid forward into the darkness, his taut, muscled body clad completely in black, from the knit cap on his head, to his black jumpsuit with its cuffs tucked into his eight-inch Danner Reckoning tactical boots. He’d daubed black camo paint on his face to prevent any tell-tale flashes of paleness. Practically invisible, he was a brutal killing machine, and he knew it. His long, thick dick was hard and aching in his groin, ample proof of how much he loved his job, and why he was so good at it.
Mac could detect the first guard’s presence from over thirty yards away. Stupid punk was not only out in the open, he’d even lit a cigarette. The glowing red point was like a beacon. With each drag he took, it illuminated the guard’s face, revealing a boy who didn’t look old enough to buy a pack of smokes. Judging by the wisp of the mustache dusting his upper lip, the kid couldn’t be more than eighteen, if that.
Well, he wasn’t gonna make it to nineteen. Stupid little fuck was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He’d voluntarily placed himself in the line of fire, and now he was gonna get burned. Fatally.
Silently, Mac crept up behind him, getting so close he could smell the sour tang of the boy’s sweat over the reek of his cigarette. The boy was in tight, faded jeans tucked into a pair of Carolina loggers. Over a stained white t-shirt, he wore an unbuttoned plaid felt shirt with long sleeves. His curly, sandy-blond hair was barely contained under a trucker’s cap advertising a local beer that the little bitch damn sure wasn’t old enough to purchase.
In a single, fluid move, lightning-quick, the muscled killer clamped one hand over the punk’s mouth, his fingerless leather glove creating a tight seal. With the other hand, he rammed his nine-inch Ka-bar knife into the kid’s back, sinking the serrated blade into his kidney—and holding it there.
Instantly, the young guard rose up on the tips of his toes, going rigid with shock. The muffled squeal that managed to get past Mac’s glove was carried away by the wind, useless as the bleating of a slaughtered goat. Mac jerked back, holding the thrashing youth tightly to him.
“Shaddup, cunt. You feel my blade? It’s in your kidney. Unless you want it somewhere else, you better calm the fuck down and answer my questions—after all, you can live with just one kidney. You get me, motherfucker?”
The kid continued to struggle, so Mac twisted the knife. The sudden blast of excruciating pain made the boy squeal and mewl under the experienced merc’s iron grip, but Mac could feel that he was nodding his assent. He lifted his hand from the guard’s mouth.
“I know you got Little Bennie up in the blockhouse,” Mac whispered, “How many other men are in there with him? What kinda weapons they got?”
“Wh-what?” the teen sobbed, “Who? I—I dunno, man, I don’t—they, they offered me five hundred if I spent the night out here and stopped anyone comin’ up the road. It’s true, dude—I dunno nothin’, please don’t hurt me no more!”
“You don’t know nothin?” Mac jeered maliciously; it was no less than he’d expected. “Then there ain’t no point in keepin’ you alive. See ya in hell, asswipe.”
Tightening his hand back over the adolescent’s mouth, he stabbed the boy in the throat. The blade went in horizontally, right to left, punching its way through the larynx as it severed the jugular and the carotid simultaneously.
“MMFF!!” the kid spat out in agony as Mac let go and stepped back. The boy staggered forward a couple of steps, his hands clutching his throat. He wheeled about, facing Mac.
There was something about this point that always brought the older man to the brink of orgasm. The kid gazed down at his own blood-stained hands, then offered them to Mac, as if asking how this had happened. The teen’s face was a mask of agony, terror, and utter bewilderment. He opened his mouth to speak, but all that came out was a thick, liquid gargling sound, followed by a gout of blood that spattered on the boy’s boots.
Then the thick, acrid tang of urine filled the air as a dark stain spread across the crotch of the youth’s jeans. His hands still outstretched and questing for answers, the punk staggered again towards Mac, but his legs gave out and he fell to his knees. The killer stepped forward and leered into the boy’s tear-stained face.
“Trust me, motherfucker, you’re better off dead anyway.”
Then he faded back into the darkness, vanishing without a trace like the angel of Death.
The boy pitched forward. He spent his last few seconds on earth with his mouth full of mud and blood, his toes curling in his piss-filled boots as his mind shrieked blankly into the howling, icy void.
But that was in the past, someplace Mac couldn’t afford to stay. He’d already lined up his next target and was closing in for the kill.
This one had the sense not to smoke, but that was about it. It stood out in the open as well, brightly illuminated by the full moon. Even worse, the dumbass was checking its phone; it was like setting off a flare. And it was utterly pointless—there was no signal this far out. Mac had made sure of that; part of his basic recon was checking what communication options were available to the target. There was a wired line to the blockhouse, but cells were useless.
This boy had straight, dark hair. He wore a white t-shirt and jeans, but evidently was—or a least wanted everyone to think he was—a biker, judging by the thick leather jacket he sported, and the Elsinore motorcycle boots into which he’d tucked his jeans. No older than his early twenties, he’d tried to increase his appearance of toughness by cultivating a three-day scruff on his cheeks—and brandishing what looked like an elderly hunting rifle that would have had difficulty harming an injured skunk.
Mac smirked as he drew closer. The little punk’s toughness was about to undergo the acid test.
When he was two yards from the guard, the experienced merc drew his blade. He’d had the handle of the Ka-Bar customized into brass knuckles; aside from their value as a weapon in themselves, they improved his grip if the knife got slippery. Admittedly, the latter didn’t happen often; the blade had grooves that channeled blood away from the hilt.
Stealthily, he got closer, closing in another yard. Then he made his move.
“Psst,” he called. The kid jumped and whirled about, his mouth agape in surprise. It was the perfect target for Mac’s roundhouse punch. He slammed the brass knuckles into the punk’s face with enough force that the fucker dropped his gun and fell backwards to the ground. Mac leaped on him instantly, not giving him time to recover from the blow.
The older man grabbed a handful of the boy’s shirt, lifting his head off the ground. He drew his fist back again, letting the moonlight glint off the knuckles and the blood-smeared blade. “Lissen up, dickhead,” he snarled, “Yer little boyfriend down the road there is already dead. If you don’t wanna join him, you’d better have some answers for me!”
The boy parted his split, bleeding lips and spat out a tooth. “Wha-whaddaya wanna know?” he groaned in a barely audible voice, “I don’t—they don’t tell us nothin’. Just, we stop anyone from comin’, raise an alarm. That’s-that’s all, man, I swear.”
“So you don’t know who hired you, or why?” Mac confirmed.
“Naw, man, honest. Please don’t hurt me, man—I knocked this chick up and I gotta HURKphpthth!!”
Mac had smashed his fist into the punk’s face again, this time pulping the nose with a wet squelching sound like an overripe tomato. The boy threw up his hands, trying to grapple with the muscled killer; Mac managed to stab his right hand hard enough to drive the blade through the palm and out the back of the hand in mid-air. The kid emitted a thick, wet yelp but continued to claw at his assailant.
“Stupid little piece a’ shit,” the hardman muttered, “Yer gonna take what’s comin’ to ya, like it or not!”
He began raining blows down onto the young guard, who was paying for his inexperience with a drawn-out, agonized death. Mac’s biceps bulged with power that he gleefully unleashed on the stupid punk who’d been unlucky enough to come within his murderous sights.
The boy fought and struggled. Between his hard, muscular legs, Mac could feel the youth’s lean, lithe body writhing and kicking. Its boots dug furrows into the ground; it was obvious that when the punk had drawn them on that day, he’d had no idea he’d be beaten to death while wearing them that night.
Well, that had his fault. When you play with the big boys, you gotta take all contingencies into consideration. Mac let the dying fucker’s flailing stroke his massive erection nestled inside his jumpsuit as he caved the guard’s face in.
Finally, he was done. The kid was utterly unrecognizable, its face nothing but ground beef. But it wasn’t dead, Mac realized. Blood bubbled from some of the holes in its face, sure proof that it was still breathing. It was undoubtedly brain-damaged; Mac knew for a fact that he’d cracked its cranium in at least two and probably three places—but hey, why take a chance?
It was obviously trembling on the threshold of death. The older man felt it was his duty to escort it across. After all, he was being paid to do the job right.
Standing up, his raised his fist high up over his head, then dropped like a falcon to one knee, simultaneously bringing down his arm. The brass knuckles slammed into the guard’s throat with piledriver force, instantly crushing the esophagus into a bloody wad of gristle.
The dying punk thrashed helplessly on the ground, thick gagging noises coming from its ruined face, in the approximate location of what had been its mouth. But like its buddy, it died alone in the dirt. Mac had already returned to the darkness. He knew his own power and the efficacy of his killing blow; he didn’t need to stand around and watch it work.
But he was sick of this shit. The next one wouldn’t know anything either; there was no point in wasting any time questioning it. It just needed to die, quickly and quietly.
This one seemed to be the same age as the last one. It had shoulder-length hair, brown or dark blond. It was wearing a denim jacket and jeans with what appeared to be brown leather harness boots. This one wasn’t quite as easy for Mac to make out, though.
It wasn’t out in the open like the others had been; it was facing a tree, leaning forward with one hand against the trunk. There was a steady trickling sound. A wide, shark-like grin spread over Mac’s face. Fucker was taking a leak. This was gonna be almost too easy.
He was right. The teen was still pissing as the buff hired killer approached it from behind and tapped it on the shoulder. It spun around, the sudden shock stopping the flow of urine. Mac’s arm popped vertically like it had been spring-loaded and jammed his blade through the guard’s ear before it had time to react.
“GACK!!” the boy cried as the serrated blade shredded his inner ear and lodged deep in his brain. “GUCK!!”
“Fuck you, asshole,” Mac sneered at the helpless teen. He rotated the blade quickly, scrambling the adolescent’s brain. For a single split second, the kid stood there, slack-jawed, then the inevitable reaction to sudden massive brain trauma kicked in. The teen punk bucked its hips and long, steady squirt of semen erupted from its exposed member.
The boy didn’t even know he was cumming. He just hosed Mac’s groin with his sperm, then sank to his knees. Mac released the knife, letting the dead guard slump to the ground like the sack of meat it was. It convulsed violently, its boots loudly scuffling in the carpet of dead leaves.
“Aw, shaddap, ya dumb cunt,” Mac hissed. Placing one of his Danner boots on the dead boy’s head, he bent down and grasped the hilt of the blade tightly, then began to ream it into the guard’s cranium. He spent nearly sixty seconds skullfucking the teenager with his knife, until it lay still and quivering on the forest floor, without enough intact cerebral matter left to send misfires to the long, lean limbs.
Mac extracted the blade from the kid’s skull and used its denim jacket to wipe off the bits of gray matter that had become lodged in the serrations. “There,” he said, satisfaction evident in his deep voice, “That’ll keep yer sorry ass quiet. Enjoy yer dirt nap, motherfucker.”
The punk had been nineteen, not that it mattered. He’d gone from a living, healthy human being to a trembling piece of meat with a pulped brain in less than three minutes.
But Mac was moving forward. This next one might be a challenge. He knew he was going to have to be very careful here—he hadn’t been able to get a close look at the last guard, but what little he’d seen had made him suspect the dude was just as experienced a killer as Mac was himself.
The guard was older than the others had been—maybe early thirties. He wasn’t muscle-bound but his lean form clearly had a formidable wiry strength. Like Mac, he’d opted for a black jumpsuit tucked into lace-up combat boots. In addition to a knife, he was armed with a silenced 9-mm in a shoulder holster.
Mac himself didn’t carry a gun; he liked feeling the target die beneath his hands. But he might need one once he was inside the blockhouse. It might be a good idea to take this dude’s.
First things first, though. He needed to waste the fucker before making plans for his gun. He cautiously moved forward again.
There—up ahead, about ten yards. Was that movement?
Mac hunkered down in the darkness, not moving, not making a sound. Above him, a strong, steady wind whipped the tree limbs into constant susurrating motion. The highly competent killer held his position and maintained silence, his eyes riveted to the place where he thought he’d seen a shadowy form.
Five minutes stretched to ten, and then longer, before Mac’s patience was rewarded. In the exact spot on which he’d been keeping his eyes, a man emerged. Older than the dead punks had been, this one had the hard, cruel face of a professional mercenary. Chances were, he knew just as much as Mac did about how to kill.
Not that Mac was intimidated. He wondered if the dude knew how to die. It was time to find out…
Creeping carefully, the muscled hardman tested every step of the ground he covered before planting the soft sole of his utility boot. The crunching of dead leaves, the snap of a twig—there were so many opportunities for him to give himself away. But he was skillful in the ways of stealth approach and silent death; he wasn’t about to commit a rookie mistake.
It took him nearly twenty minutes to reduce the thirty-foot distance between the guard and himself to six, but he did it right. The dude had no idea that death was standing right behind him.
Mac didn’t let him find it out on his own.
He tapped the guard on the shoulder. Visibly surprise, the guard jumped and whirled around, only to catch Mac’s brass knuckles full-on in the jaw. Grunting, the hardman stagged back; Mac leaped forward and shoved him back up against a tree with the blade of his knife jammed up under the man’s chin.
“Hey there,” Mac whispered with a grin, his breath slightly ragged. “Let’s talk. You look like you got plenty to talk about, buddy.”
“Fuck you,” the guard hissed. He barely moved his jaw, feeling the tip of Mac’s blade pressed against the tender flesh underneath it, but he took a deep breath, as if about to yell.
“Uh-uh,” Mac cautioned, “I wouldn’t.” He applied a little more pressure to the knife—barely any at all, actually, but enough to make the tip pierce the guard’s skin. Just a nick, though; there was only the tiniest trickle of blood.
“Now,” the experienced killer continued, “Let’s have that little talk, yeah? I know–let’s talk about Bennie and his friends. Like, say, how many friends he has with him. And what they’re armed with; that never gets boring.”
“I ain’t tellin’ you a goddam thing, asswipe,” the merc snarled. “I don’t sing, motherfucker.”
“Yeah?” Mac said, a faint smirk on his face, “Well ain’t that lucky. Here I am, the prefect dude to help ya learn. Lessee if we don’t get ya to make a pretty tune from this…”
His arm flashed; quicker than lightning, the knife was gone from the guard’s throat—and lodged in his flank instead, right up to the hilt, the tip embedded in his liver.
“GACK!!” the merc cried out in agony, “HAGH!”
“Aw, dude, you can do better than that,” Mac said with sympathetic condescension. “I bet you got a beautiful voice if you really try. Here, maybe this will help ya focus.”
The guard felt a horrific ripping sensation as the more skillful hardman yanked the knife out of his body. Over the agony, he experienced a sensation of despair, knowing he’d finally come across someone who was better at the game of hunting down and killing humans than he was—he’d always known it was a possibility—
—and then the sensation of the sharp tip of the blade probing at his scrotum filled him with terror.
“Enough! Stop!” he cried out, “Ok, ok, whatever ya wanna know—just stop.”
“How may people has Bennie got with him?”
“J-just two. His cousins—he don’t trust no one else. One’s got a .45 and one has a .357.”
“And Bennie—what’s he got?”
“I-I dunno. I heard something about a shotgun, maybe, but-but I dunno.”
“Wrong answer, motherfucker,” Mac growled. He clamped a hand over the merc’s mouth and drove the nine-inch blade of his utility knife into the dude’s nutsack.
Muffled as it was, the guard’s scream was shrill and loud, a true shriek of nightmarish agony. Once it died down, Mac released the man’s mouth.
“One more time, fuckhead. This time, it won’t be yer balls; it’ll be yer life. What kinda weapons is Bennie carrying?”
It took a couple of minutes for the guard to return to coherence and get his abject sobbing under enough control to speak.
“He-he-he’s got a-a shotgun an-and a high pow-powered Remington…” the man moaned brokenly.
“See, that wasn’t so hard, was it?” Mac asked, placing the knife back under the merc’s chin. “Now, just relax and let yer Uncle Mac make it all go away.”
The man’s eyes instantly back to his, filled with terror.
“After all,” Mac said with a malicious grin, “I never promised I’d let you live.”
He jammed the knife up through the guard’s jaw, the blade swiftly parting the flesh and muscle. It slammed up through the oral cavity, piercing the tongue and pinning it to the roof of the mouth as it slashed its way into the sinuses. For a moment, the merc could both taste and smell his own blood. He could also hear the crunching sound of the knife being shoved into his cranium. There was a bright flash, and then he was blind—the razor-sharp edge of the knife had severed his optic nerves.
There are no nerve endings in the brain. But the instant the tip of the blade punctured the pleasure center in the middle of the cerebrum, the man jerked violently as he experienced the most intense orgasm of his life.
He didn’t enjoy it long. Mac knew it was coming; he pressed the dude against the tree and held still, letting the merc carve his own brain to lunchmeat with his orgasmic thrashing and convulsions. The man probably felt no more than a faction of a second of his explosive deathload; the rest of it had happened after brain death.
Brutally yanking his knife out of the merc’s skull, Mac stepped back, his own crotch covered with the dead guard’s seed. The man slid down the tree trunk, coming to rest in a seated position with his booted feet splayed and his head bent forward, still making odd gurgling noises.
As a threat, he’d been neutralized. Mac stepped forward with impunity, kneeling down and retrieving the dead man’s gun—a fully-loaded nine-millimeter with a silencer. Pocketing it, he turned his back on the shuddering pile of manmeat.
It was time to make sure Bennie got what was coming to him.
The blockhouse was small and squat, with cinderblock walls pierced by tiny windows. Tonight, they were shuttered, with only minute glints of light showing. Mac approached the building cautiously, but it seemed that Bennie was stupid enough to trust the punks he’d hired to keep him safe. A cold smile crossed Mac’s face at that thought. Bennie’s hardmen were damn sure hard now—in fact, they were getting downright stiff. Off to one side was a generator. Surprisingly unprotected, it roared loudly. Next to it sat a dozen five-gallon gas cans. Just beyond were another half-dozen, lying on their sides, clearly empty.
The experienced killer placed his ear door the door. He couldn’t really hear anything, but he was able to determine that the door wasn’t as solid as it had first appeared to be. That was good. That was very good.
It was go time. Time to earn his money. Time to ice some scumshits. Mac was ready, his long, thick alpha cock erect and throbbing inside his jumpsuit.
Leaping up, he slammed the thick sole of his boot against the door. It cracked and splintered, swinging wide, and Mac was inside the blockhouse.
He put his training to good use, absorbing the entire layout in a split second. It was a single room, with spaces walled off in opposite corners—presumably a bathroom and a closet. The far wall was arranged as a kitchenette. On the left was a small desk with a laptop. Most of the room was occupied by three folding beds. In the center was a small, round table around which sat three men, drinking, smoking cigars, and playing poker.
Their reaction was immediate. One of them—Mac instantly recognized him as his prey, Bennie–jumped out of his seat. “What the fuck?!?” he screamed, diving for his shotgun, propped in the corner.
Mac didn’t hesitate for a moment. He’d entered wielding the guard’s handgun; he put it to use right away. It emitted a faint cough and Bennie’s scream terminated in an agonized grunt. He crumpled to the floor, his spinal cord severed by a bullet.
He wasn’t dead, yet. “Get ‘im, Carlo!” he yelled. At the same time, one of the other dudes, in a white short-sleeved button-down and tight chinos, cried out, “MotherFUCK!” Like Bennie, he reached for his gun.
There was another quiet sound from Mac’s gun and the man sagged back. The small hole in his forehead that trickled blood belied the gaping crater in the back of his skull. As the red and gray mist that was all that was left of his brain settled on the wall, the man slumped to the floor. The room was filled with the stench of death as the corpse voided its bowels.
Mac whirled to the third man who sat frozen and gaping. “What the fuck, Tony?” Bennie sobbed, but Mac didn’t give Tony a chance to overcome his shock and surprise. He fired his pistol straight into the man’s mouth.
Tony’s front teeth were pulverized, but he never felt it. A slug of lead tore its way out the back of his neck, ripping his spinal cord from the base of his spine. Tony felt back on the floor, gurgling grotesquely and convulsing.
Once again, threat neutralized. Mac strolled causally over to Tony and gave the thrashing wiseguy a couple of taps to the head. The punk jerked and kicked each time the lead punched into his skull, but when it was over, there was no question that he was dead.
Bennie, on the other hand, wasn’t.
“Pl-please man,” he begged, “Don’t-don’t kill me. I’ll give ya anything you want. Ya want money? Fuck, dude, I’ll make ya rich. Girls? Drugs? Hell, you want little boys? Whatever ya want I’ll get it—just please, oh fuck, please—”
Silently, Mac turned and exited the room. Thirty seconds later he returned, carrying two of the gas cans from the generator.
“What—” Bennie began, but he didn’t even need to ask. Mac immediately opened the cans and began pouring the gas around the room.
“What are you doing?!?” Bennie squalled, horrified. “Wh-wha—for the love of God, what the fuck are you doing??”
Mac didn’t say a word. He just grinned and picked up Bennie’s own Zippo from the card table, letting some of the scattered chips fall to the floor. With a quick flick, he lit it.
“No…” Bennie whispered in abject terror, “No—please, no, don’t…”
Mac tossed the lighted into a pool of gas and left the blockhouse.
The screaming began immediately. It seemed to go on for a long time; it took Bennie quite a while to burn to death. After about five or six minutes, there was change in the quality of his shrieking—it became more frantic, more agonized.
And it was then that Mac, his groin stiff with the semen of dead men, unloaded in his pants, the dark stain of his hot potent manseed spreading over his crotch.
Damn, he loved his job.